The Berghaus Yak Attack 2008
Mountain bike and road running enthusiasts are preparing for battle in the increasingly popular Berghaus Yak Attack – a road runner versus mountain biker race held along the Annapurna circuit in the Himalayas of Nepal, from March 6 through to March 18, 2008. This grueling circuit provides many exciting challenges for even the most seasoned athlete.
Apart from the event sponsors, Berghaus, a number of companies and individuals have stepped up to offer their support by sponsoring promising local Nepalese athletes. This allows these budding athletes to compete in a world-class event that they would ordinarily not be able to afford. Among the local mountain bike competitors is the first female cyclist to represent Nepal at the Asian Games, Nirjala Tarmrakar. This former beauty queen, who is currently a mountain bike guide, has an impressive race record which proves that she is more than qualified to provide some tough competition in the male dominated Berghaus Yak Attack.
Registration for the Berghaus Yak Attack will take place on March 6 at the Kathmandu Guesthouse. The following day participants will travel to Besi Sahar, the starting point for the first leg of the race. The Berghaus Yak Attack gets underway from Besi Sahar on March 8, with the first stop being 20 kilometers away at Bahundanda. The 200 kilometer circuit takes competitors through diverse terrain, with stunning scenery and numerous challenges all along the way. From Pisang, which is covered on March 11, competitors need to be aware that the altitude is high enough to bring on symptoms of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). March 12 will be a compulsory rest day in Manang (altitude 3540 meters) for acclimatization purposes, although it is recommended that competitors remain fairly active during the day by exploring the stunning surroundings of Manang.
The race gets back into full swing on March 13 with the highest point of 5416 meters being reached on March 14 between Thorong Phedi and Jomsom. The following day is a lot of downhill trail with some rocky and narrow patches where push/carry of bikes becomes necessary. The revitalizing properties of the hot springs at Tato Pani are sure to provide a measure of relief to weary bodies at the end of the day.
The final stage of the race is from Tato Pani to Beni on March 16. This part of the trail is mostly suitable for riding with the last section leading into the main square of Beni – the end of a tough 200 kilometer race. After photographs and interviews with the winners, the competitors will take a three-hour coach ride to the Barhai Hotel in Pokhara where they can enjoy all the luxuries that being back in the civilized world has to offer.
Many participants in the 2007 Berghaus Yak Attack have agreed that at a number of points in the 200 kilometer race it becomes more of a personal man versus nature event – and they are eagerly anticipating the challenge of the 2008 Berghaus Yak Attack in exquisite Nepal.